The SheSays Survey on gender representation aims to engage the local industry regarding the improvement of gender representation and diversity within the creative sectors. The survey is initiated by the Cape Town chapter of SheSays, the world's largest network for women in creative industries, and is being conducted in partnership with Kantar.

The survey anonymously surveys male and female staff numbers by rank and department, and the results are presented in an aggregated format. "People from different cultures, races, genders and ethnicities bring a diversity of ideas and fresh ways of thinking to the table," says Mike Abel, founding partner and chief executive officer at M&C Saatchi Abel.

"Gender representation, particularly female representation, within the creative and advertising industries is a massive issue in South Africa. Diversity of thought and gender representation has been key to the success of M&C Saatchi Abel," adds Abel.

"While we're proud to be recognised as one of the companies leading this change, it's going to take all of us working together to really create a meaningful and visible change throughout our industry. We want to urge all agencies to take part in this survey so we can get a first glimpse of the true numbers," says Abel. 

"We are delighted to have the support of a number of leading agencies in South Africa, including M&C Saatchi Abel, and hope that many more will show their support by taking this survey," says SheSays director Anelde Greeff.

"As an organisation committed to empowering, educating and advancing women in creative industries, it's vital for us to understand the actual state of affairs and measure our progress. Advertising informs societal views and if the people behind these advertising campaigns are not representative of society, these views are skewed," says Greeff.

Agencies can pledge their support for this cause by taking part here before Friday, 28 February. Only one person from each agency, such as an HR professional or CEO, needs to share agency staff numbers.

All participants will remain anonymous and data will only be reported in an aggregated format. Any queries can be directed at [email protected].

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